An Autistic Male’s Eating Disorder Recovery Story

autism recovery

Today I am joined by Mike Napier, a late-diagnosed autistic male who shares his story with disordered eating, depression, and suicidal ideation. In this episode of The Liv Label Free Podcast, Mike and I discuss:

  • Growing up undiagnosed autistic, earliest memories painted by depression, and history of suicidal thoughts
  • The masking of autistic traits, depression, and mental illness from family
  • Development of anorexia by way of autistic special interest and as a coping mechanism for depression
  • Eating as a little known autistic stim. The realization that previous poor relationships with food stemmed heavily from a need to use food as a sensory override and finding self-soothing elsewhere
  • Using the all-sensory experience of taste, texture, and chewing, and how using chewelry as an adult is nothing to be ashamed of
  • The potential benefits of mindful eating as a way to aid improvement of eating-related stimming
  • The stigma and societal attitudes on men with eating disorders, particularly anorexia, and how it led to an incorrect diagnosis of binge eating disorder (BED), and a worsening of symptoms
  • How the lack of research on males with restrictive eating disorders caused medical complications
  • How small changes to neutral gender language and specifying when you're discussing gender differences can completely change recovery for men and those beyond the binary
  • Why mental illness does not discriminate and how language use has the potential to discount a whole sections of sufferers
  • His advice and personal philosophy to anyone struggling and needing a little hope or joy to grasp onto

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